Bogotá is Colombia’s capital and has a population of 9 million, making it the third largest city in Latin America and meaning there’s plenty to do to keep you occupied. The average day is cold and rainy, much to our un-enjoyment, but the cosmopolitan feel of the city makes it dangerously consuming leaving us feeling like we could stick around for a long time.
During our visit we came across a couple of quirky ways to spend our days. Here are 6 of our favourites:
1. Take the Free Graffiti Tour:
From the moment you step foot in the capital you can’t help but notice the vast amounts of graffiti art and murals displayed all over the city. Why are they there? Is it legal? What do they mean? The graffiti tour answers these and is an insightful journey exploring Bogota’s cultural and political nuances. Read more here.
2. Have Lunch on a Train:
Café de la Estacion is a quirky spot to have a delicious lunch. It’s more expensive than the set lunch menus throughout the city but offers unique atmosphere and surroundings. You can find it in Calle D’ La Soledad, in the car park opposite number 5-15. You can have lunch for around COP$10,000, coffees for COP$8 – 10,000 or cocktails for less than COP$10,000 if you’re feeling like getting into the party mood.
3. Drink Chicha in an Attic:
It is almost compulsory to taste the local tipple in any city you are visiting. Bogotá’s traditional drink is Chicha, AKA vomit juice. One of the oldest beverages on Earth, Chicha is a maize-derived drink prepared in several South-American countries. It has been consumed for thousands of years, since the time of the Incas. Head to Callejon del Embudo (Cr 2) where you will find a cobbled street filled with bars and great happy hour deals. Lots of the bars are in small attic spaces up rickety ladders so prepared to get cosy! If you’re not brave enough to try Chicha, keep an eye out for happy hour in the early evening.
4. Taste Bogota’s Local Brews:
You can’t say you have been to Bogotá without tasting a beer at BBC (Bogotá Beer Company). Although only 11 years old the establishment has become part of the people and lifestyle in Bogotá. With 13 handcrafted beers, some of which have won ‘best beer in the world’ titles, and 15 bars in Bogotá the temptation will be very hard to resist!
5. Sample Delicious Baked Goods from a Pop-up Café:
We stumbled across an adorable artisan bakery on Carrera 2. Although it might not be there now (that’s the nature of pop-ups, unfortunately!), this neighbourhood is always filled with friendly foodies just waiting to make your mouth water. Walk around, ask the locals and you’ll find some tasty pastries!
6. Spend Time With the Local Students:
Colombians are some of the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet. We bumped into some local Colombian English-students who asked for help with a project. They wanted us to chat to them about our families and how our cultures are different. They were so interested to find out about how we lived and our daily lives back at home, they seemed to forget about the project a we just chatted over beers.
If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the culture and meet some locals, head down to Carrera 2 on a Saturday night and strike up a conversation!